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Old 26.01.2012, 19:07
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Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

Now it is my time to complain.

#Rant begins here#
Shopping. At Coop. At Migros. Horror.

What kind of system is behind there aisle layout? They shelf a lot of stuff anywhere and totally random. it is like in a mad scientist wicked lab experiment. Canned and preserved goods? At least at 4 different places. Why? Condiments strewed all over the aisles. Especially Coop is notorious for this: Mayo, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc. are as far apart as possible. Is it dangerous to keep them to close together, like pineapple and gelatin? Potato chips, pretzels nearby but where are the tortilla chips? Over there, where they have the premium chips too. Nuts, nuts? No nuts to be seen. I go nuts! Ok, cool down. Frozen products. Potatoes near the chicken, mixed vegetables near the fish. Hey, at least fruits and ice cream are nearby. Marmalade and jelly? Next to each other, but where is the honey? Oh, here are the nuts. It is like in dungeons and dragons, one quest after another. Collecting artifacts in far away places. Better to look in a store directory. Non existing. One can ask the staff but thanks to the no existent directory they do not know either where the products are. Hello, how to you know where to shelf the stuff? Ah I see what you did here. That is why all the stuff is randomly placed. Lets find my GF and get to the cashier. Honey! Honey? Not again. Stupid labyrinth.

And a final advice: The shelfing system and layout was uniquely designed for your local supermarket. Any Coop or Migros is free to implement its own random placing strategy.

#Rant ends here#

PS: This post may contain broad exaggeration and one cannot find tortilla chips in any Migros or Coop. Do. Not. Try. It. It is a labyrinth and somewhere in it is a fierce minotaur.
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Old 26.01.2012, 19:13
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

Your location says Chicago, IL.

So why bother?
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Old 26.01.2012, 19:16
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

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Now it is my time to complain.

#Rant begins here#
What kind of system is behind there aisle layout?
<snip>
Wow, that's what I call a rant. Actually, I agree, but would reserve my ire for French supermarkets, especially the very big ones, which will have the same product, but different ranges, in completely diffrerent places in the shop. Like nuts and raisins, one brand/range of which may be near the fruit and veg, with another entirely different one in with the baking ingredients. And often it's almost impossible to find the _fresh_ milk, if they even have any.
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Old 26.01.2012, 19:17
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

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Your location says Chicago, IL.

So why bother?
Fixed. Now I am allowed to bother. Shopping over there was much easier.
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Old 26.01.2012, 19:18
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

What Mark said. Also - it is pretty similar everywhere but it depends on the size of the Migros.
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Old 26.01.2012, 19:35
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

I. love. this. post. Truer words have never been spoken. The grocery stores here are a HOT MESS. As a person who works on store layouts and shelf sets for North American clients, I agonize over exactly which SKUs should go where and we deal with THOUSANDS of them. There are far fewer unique items in Coop and Migros in just as many unique locations. It is a disaster. I thought I was alone but now take solace in the fact that you too share my distaste for the chaos that is Coop and Migros. Well done.
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Old 26.01.2012, 19:45
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

Supermarkets spend vast amounts of market research money with psychologists optimising their layouts.

Optimised for profit, that is - not your convenience.

It's an increasingly common trick to move staple items or separate products which naturally go together, so that you spend more time in the shop looking for them, and hopefully finding other things to buy in the meantime. They'll try and make every aisle contain one staple item, so that you don't miss any of their products by taking a naughty short-cut.

Each time I went to my local supermarket in the UK there was a whole new layout. The only constant thing was having the vegetables and fruit at the entrance (presumably so they go in your trolley first and get squashed by everything else so that it ends up going off quicker )

Last edited by quark; 26.01.2012 at 20:00.
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Old 26.01.2012, 19:50
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

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... a fierce minotaur...
Better now?
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Old 26.01.2012, 19:53
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

Just go to Aldis or Lidls their layout is so much more standard and they are way cheaper then COOP and Migros

however there will be some things they simply dont stock in which case go to germany
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Old 26.01.2012, 20:18
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

I suppose this is a nuance between the UK and N. American markets. In N. America consumers have SO many retailer choices that retailers can't simply leave the consumer frustrated. They must balance their desire for shoppers to hunt and peck with the overall shopper experience. If they don't, someone will come in that will provide a superior experience and poof go their profits. I appreciate the perspective about the UK though as I am unfamiliar with their retail environments. Suppose I need to change that!

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Supermarkets spend vast amounts of market research money with psychologists optimising their layouts.

Optimised for profit, that is - not your convenience.

It's an increasingly common trick to move staple items or separate products which naturally go together, so that you spend more time in the shop looking for them, and hopefully finding other things to buy in the meantime. They'll try and make every aisle contain one staple item, so that you don't miss any of their products by taking a naughty short-cut.

Each time I went to my local supermarket in the UK there was a whole new layout. The only constant thing was having the vegetables and fruit at the entrance (presumably so they go in your trolley first and get squashed by everything else so that it ends up going off quicker )
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Old 26.01.2012, 20:25
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

I always go to the same Migros and Coop because I feel I have mastered their mysterious layout after months of trial and error. Shopping at a different one is like walking through a dark forest. It is as if they use a higher logic inaccessible to me.
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Old 26.01.2012, 20:41
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

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Better to look in a store directory. Non existing. One can ask the staff but thanks to the no existent directory they do not know either where the products are.
This is not my experience at all. I am doing fine on my own, just reading the signs and look around. No problem in general. Last time I didn't find my soya sauce, I asked, the woman told me they put it in a corner with every sushi/japanese ingredients, she showed me, gave it to me and said Uuf Wiederluege. Normal. No stress. Only cost: One sentence in German to the woman. That works for me.
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Old 26.01.2012, 20:41
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

#Rant begins here#

Why oh why can't everything in Switzerland be just like it is in the USA????

#Rant ends here#
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Old 26.01.2012, 20:42
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

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Now it is my time to complain.

#Rant begins here#
Shopping. At Coop. At Migros. Horror.

What kind of system is behind there aisle layout? They shelf a lot of stuff anywhere and totally random. it is like in a mad scientist wicked lab experiment. .
Coop and Migros actually make some sense to me. You should take a stroll through Kaufland one day. Now THAT is completely random organisation... clothes irons next to the dairy section, pots and pans in two separate locations, automotive next to the bread....
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Old 26.01.2012, 20:46
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

Sorry - maybe the stores in Basel (or "my end" of Basel anyhow) are handled differently for some mysterious reason? Maybe I'm just used to it?

There are two new Coop locations in the general Volta area, one at Volta Center (Bahnhoff St.Johann) and the other newly opened this year on Elsesserstrasse (however it's spelled), near the corner of Mülhauserstrasse. Both of these have pretty sensible layouts, with the snacks together (nuts, chips, tortilla chips, fancy bread stick / tongue / whatever things), all the baking supplies together, etc etc...

Maybe they figure all those rich folk in Zürich will simply send their cook / housekeeper to do the grocery shopping anyhow so aren't too fussed with making it easy?


Now, there IS a teeny-tiny Migros nearby also and I've found it to be slightly random if they have to wedge some seasonal things in someplace BUT I feel it a bit "random" anyhow because they get a few things that a few people (international / with international tastes) would like, instead of only focusing on what "traditional Swiss" folk may want.
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Old 26.01.2012, 20:50
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

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Coop and Migros actually make some sense to me. You should take a stroll through Kaufland one day. Now THAT is completely random organisation... clothes irons next to the dairy section, pots and pans in two separate locations, automotive next to the bread....
Oh YES. I went there with my mum to stock up for a party - it took us about two hours to get out again. Partly because we were going "ok, there are 25 types of horseradish sauce, we just want STANDARD horseradish sauce, which one is it?" but also because stuff was quite random. But then, that's how they do it there, seems to work for them.

You know, OP, if you weren't so blooming condescending and, well, stereotypically American, I'd offer to explain it to you. But with that attitude? Forget about it. And I seriously doubt the person in the shop didn't know where the stuff was, in 20 years of Migros/Coop shopping that has NEVER happened. But then I speak local. I very much doubt I could go into Walmart and ask a staff member in German where stuff is. Spanish, maybe.
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Old 26.01.2012, 20:51
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

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#Rant begins here#

Why oh why can't everything in Switzerland be just like it is in the USA????

#Rant ends here#



Maybe if some of the things that actually and honestly make life more simple (such as having things arranged "sensibly" in the grocery store) were more like in the US, there would be fewer complaints.



After all, the Coop@home website arranges things by type, I'm sure the people who work in the warehouses doing "order picking" for either home or store deliveries are treated to a sensible arrangement within the warehouse, for it to be otherwise would be foolishly inefficient and a huge waste of time for the company. Why can the stores not also be arranged sensibly?
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Old 26.01.2012, 21:04
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

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Maybe if some of the things that actually and honestly make life more simple (such as having things arranged "sensibly" in the grocery store) were more like in the US, there would be fewer complaints.
Simple logic:
- Swiss supermarkets make perfect sense to me
- make them American would ruin this perfect sense
hence: I would be the one complaining.
Ergo: There wouldn't be less complaining, just other people.
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Old 26.01.2012, 21:06
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

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Maybe if some of the things that actually and honestly make life more simple (such as having things arranged "sensibly" in the grocery store) were more like in the US, there would be fewer complaints.
I'm sorry, Peg, but a HECK of a lot of stuff in the US makes NO sense to us. Like having to label toasters with "do not insert metal objects" or people being pushed around in wheelchairs the moment they enter a hospital. Or having juice in gallon containers.

The shop layout makes perfect sense to us Helvetians and, as many a post on EF suggests, we are not generally known as the out and about brain surgeons of public life.

Standard Migros layout: Fresh stuff is with fresh stuff, all tinned things are together EXCEPT tomato stuff - that's with the pasta, which is with the rice and the other ready made pasta sauces. All your breakfast cereal things are usually near the tea, jam and honey, which are usually not too far away from the bakery things and the bread. Nuts (plain, ground, chopped) are used for baking and go well with dried fruit, so they live together. Sweets, chocolates and biscuits are a group and often close to crisps, tortillas and other tv munchy things. Generally the "exotic" stuff is not far away from that. The meat and cheese thing is pretty self-explanatory but eggs and milk will be there too. Frozen food is generally divided into veg, fish, meat, veg with seasoning near ready meals, ice cream near frozen berries/fruit. Condiments are generally near packet soups, oil, packet ready meals and - tins. I find the drinks aisle is often close to the animal stuff. This is the layout I find common in Zurich, as with all things, this stuff varies from canton to canton.

There is no alcohol in Migros, although a common Swiss insult is to tell someone to go and get wine at Migros.
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Old 26.01.2012, 21:11
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Re: Swiss Grocery Shopping - Horrible Aisle Layout

I personally have no problems so can't really join in - but I'd like to say that for me the choice is too wide. Why, for instance, are there so many different sorts of rice - Coop apparently has 25 sorts! Personally I'd be happy with a choice of about a quarter of what is on offer, this would save the retailing business a lot of environmentally damaging global and local transport, space, packaging, various fix and flexible costs and help to avoid wastage. I know that the excuse is that the consumers demand everything, but it's just ridiculous. (Anyone who has ever seen the plastic-covered south of Spain will know what I'm talking about.)

What I do miss though at my Migros is being able to buy ham and sausage and luncheon meat freshly cut and freshly baked (or at least pretending to be) bread. And a number of other things. This universal pre-packed stuff's packaging fills our world with rubbish - not to talk about our pavasacs.

I recall going into a supermarket somewhere in California and leaving dumbfounded: my wife and myself were the only people in it, the choice was tremendous, and we left feeling as though we had just been in a cathedral.

I can't that I was impressed with the shelf layout either.
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